(© Jena Ardell)
It’s been some staggering 17 years since American alternative rockers Fuel last graced our stages, and 20 years since the release of their game-changing album ‘Sunburn’. With their seven-date tour now mere days away, Fuel, and Australia, have much to celebrate - but none more so than frontman Brett Scallions. In and out the ringer more times than most, Scallions is truly a renaissance man. Old school rocker, dedicated musician and devoted father, Scallions is lucky. As he discusses Fuel’s return and his life at present, Scallions’ experiences validate the doubts that many of us have about life. He’s the embodiment of the mantra that just because we grow up, doesn’t mean we have to stop rocking.
Can you believe it’s been 17 years?
I know, that’s insane – 17 years! I’m ready to get there, I can’t wait.
It’s unacceptable, really.
I hear ya! We’ve been trying to figure out how to get there for quite a while now. I’m just happy that we’ve finally figured it out, so, here we come.
Will you be playing ‘Sunburn’ in its entirety?
That is the plan – we’re celebrating 20 years of that album so we have to, there’s no way around it. We’ll play some material off the later albums as well, it should be fun.
It’s been an interesting ride for you personally in your career – being in Fuel, not being in Fuel, being back in Fuel – touring and all the success you had in the early noughties. I saw also that you’ve been named one of the best heavy metal vocalists of all time in a poll of 100…
I didn’t know that.
You didn’t? Oh, well you were number 50 in 100.
So how does experience, when you come back to perform these songs that are two decades old, how does experience change things for you, how you deliver these songs?
You know, I don’t know that I mentally go into it changed or anything – maybe physically there’s a difference [laughs]. I don’t run around the stage like I used to, or set my hair on fire like I used to, but you know, I still have a lot of passion for what I do, and I feel like that comes across form a live stand point.
It’s one thing to play songs live but it’s another to be a dull shoe gazer kind of guy standing on the stage. I like to interact with my fans, I like there to be energy in the show, so that’s always the main goal.
Do you ever get a sense of it being surreal, be it here or there, seeing the fans that are still with you after all this time, still loving the music – what’s that feel like?
These days, our fans from back in the day, back in the 90s, they have kids now. They’re bringing a whole new generation out to our shows which is awesome. Then there’s high school and college kids… I look up and I see so many generations, which is an awesome thing, you know? The older generation usually tend to be in the back and they’re hanging out and singing along, then you’ve got the younger generations that are in the front, they’re more ready to party and flirt with chaos.
Whereas the oldies are in more reminiscing mode?
Out there in the back, yeah – that’s where I should be, down the back – listening, singing along, stay close to the bar so you can get a pint of beer ready… throwing up some horns once in a while!
Speaking of generations, I understand you’ve got two little ones of your own?
I do, yeah. I have a ten-year-old and a six-year-old who’s about to be seven real soon.
Crazy – do they know daddy’s a rock star?
Yeah, you know, when they come out to the shows and things like that it’s definitely a reminder for them. When I’m at home it’s just like, ‘Dad, fix me a sandwich. Dad, can I watch TV? Dad this, Dad that.’ They’re reminded of who I am and what I do for a living when they come out to the shows, seeing thousands of people singing along with me [laughs].
When you began your career as a singer, as a musician back in Tennessee, had you ever thought your life would be as it is now? Being dad, family man, still being rock star, still touring the world – living the dream?
I guess I always envisioned becoming a parent at some point, being a dad. I was never the type of person to say I was never having kids. Before I had kids I never knew what to do with kids to be honest with you. That scope of my life really changed for the better – I love my boys, of course, and I get kids now. Did I ever envision doing what I do? I guess so – I always dreamed of being a musician and a successful one at that. I guess the dream was to be able to age well and be able to play music for the rest of my life, tour round the world and avoid the realities of a nine to five job.
Fuel Australian Tour Dates 2017
Saturday 2nd December – Perth – Capitol
Sunday 3rd December – Adelaide – The Gov
Wednesday 6th December – Gold Coast – Coolangatta Hotel
Thursday 7th December – Brisbane – Eatons Hill Hotel
Friday 8th December – Sydney – Manning Bar
Saturday 9th December – Melbourne – Prince Bandroom
Wednesday 13th December – Auckland – The Studio
Tickets : https://metropolistouring.com/fuel